CAB: police detain MANPAC leaders in Mnp

Correspondent IMPHAL, Dec 6 | Publish Date: 12/6/2019 11:16:43 AM IST

Manipur People Against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (MANPAC) were angered on Friday after police detained them after their arrival at Imphal after meeting with Union home minister on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) in New Delhi.

Police detained three of the nine MANPAC leaders  who landed at Imphal Airport on Friday noon while the remaining six who arrived in the same flight which state chief minister N Biren Singh had a dramatic escape from the police.

Police attempted to detain the MANPAC leaders to prevent them from attending a reception cum press conference to be hosted by women vendors of Ima Keithel (iconic all-women market) in the heart of the capital. A nine-member delegation of MANPAC had met with Union home minister Amit Shat at New Delhi and held consultation on issues related to CAB which people of the state voiced against it. Among them, three leaders who landed at Imphal Airport around 11.30 am were detained  by the police who  took them to the SP office of Imphal West district police. The police later dropped them to their respective homes in Imphal.

The police also attempted to detain six leaders who landed at Imphal Airport around 1.30 pm who arrived by the same flight  which the state chief minister boarded from New Delhi. However, the six leaders which included MANPAC convener Yumnamcha Dilipkumar somehow avoided the police who kept a close watch on their movement. After a brief interaction with the media, the six MANPAC leaders boarded a car parked inside the airport and left the place hurriedly. On seeing them leave the airport, the police were in pursuit of them along the Tidim Road from airport to Kwakeithel Bazar where they entered AMUCO office.

At AMUCO office where the MANPAC leaders addressed a press conference, the police remained guarded them until the press conference was over.

The act of the police angered the MANPAC leaders who strongly condemned the state government while terming it an “uncivilized” act. An angered MANPAC convener Yumnamcha Dilipkumar said, “We are confused with what we are witnessing here.” 

He alleged that the state government had done all these to foil a reception programme of MANPAC leaders by women vendors of all-women market who they had assured them to convey the outcome of the meeting with Amit Shah on CAB while leaving the state.

“What wrong with our plan. We went there (Delhi) to relay the voices of the people of the state against CAB,” he said. 

It was necessary to convey the outcome of the meeting to the people as they had met with the Union home minister representing the people.

“We are confused that the government is thinking about. It is quite condemnable,” he said.

He said MANPAC leaders visited New Delhi and met the Union home minister on the latter’s invitation to convey people’s voice against CAB.

The meeting with the Union home minister was also attended by a delegation of political parties led by chief minister N Biren Singh. He said MANPAC were only planning to convey the outcome of the meeting to the people of the state at a press conference at Ima Keithel while terming the act of  the police “uncivilized act” of the state government.

Reiterating  that the only thing they approached the Union home minister for was to press the Centre for  CAB not be extended in Manipur as well as in other Northeast states even though Union home minister had assured protecting Manipur from CAB.

He said that MANPAC had tabled Manipur people’s clear cut stand “No CAB in NE” during the meeting and there is no change on the state even though the Union home minister assured to protect Manipur from CAB.

However, as the Centre is planning to introduce CAB in the ongoing Parliament session and the assurance given by Union home minister is yet to translate into action, MANPAC deemed it necessary to discuss the matter with the people.

Meanwhile, chief minister N Biren Singh who also arrived at Imphal today said that the Centre would bring out a mechanism to protect the indigenous people of the state from CAB, 2019.

“Union home minister Amit Shah will announce the proposed mechanism in a proper forum at a suitable time,” Singh who talked to media on his arrival the airport said.

Stating that people should not be apprehensive about CAB now, the chief minister said that the Centre was considering different options for the protection of indigenous people of the state. 

He said that the Centre may either bring back the ‘permit system’, which was abolished by the then chief commissioner of Manipur Himmat Singh in 1950 or extend the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 currently enforced in some states to Manipur or may enforce another mechanism.

Mention may be made here that MANPAC leaders and representatives of some prominent political parties along with state government representatives met the Union home minister on December 3 midnight and deliberated on CAB. 

During the meeting, Shah had yet again assured the state delegates that a mechanism would be brought into effect while passing CAB in order to uphold the interest of the people of the Northeast region, the chief minister said.

The state government has been conveying the people that only Narendra Modi government would take care of the Northeast, Singh said and expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister, defence minister Rajnath Singh and home minister Amit Shah for showing their concern for the region.

To a query from media regarding his meeting with the Union defence minister yesterday, the chief minister said that Rajnath Singh was the Union home minister when CAB was tabled in Lok Sabha last time. 

 The chief minister said, Rajnath Singh assured him that the bill would not be passed until a protection clause for NE people was inserted. 

As such, he called on the Union defence minister to express his thankfulness for his concerns for the NE people.


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